The Truth about the Sabbath

Sabbath SealA Unique Commandment

  • The Sabbath commandment is different from the others because there is no logical reason why we should obey except that God commands it. This makes the Sabbath commandment more a test of faith than the others.
  • Unlike the other commandments in the Decalogue, the Sabbath commandment contains an exclusive element. This component is known as a royal seal of authority (like monarchs throughout time have used to stamp their documents). A seal contains three elements: the ruler’s name, his office or position, and his territory. Without this seal, no law would be valid. Even with it, it would only be valid in the king’s jurisdiction.
    The Ten Commandments are only valid because of the seal in the heart of the 4th commandment. This makes the Sabbath commandment especially relevant, adding heightened importance to keeping it holy.
  • The Sabbath is not “natural.” Ancient cultures were unaware of the 7-day week. It comes to us through the Israelites, who preserved it when the other nations desecrated it. The “day” comes from the rotation of the earth. The “month” comes from the moon circling the earth. The “year” comes from the earth’s orbit around the sun, but the week comes from only one place: God’s command to honor the 7th-day Sabbath.
  • The Sabbath is the only commandment dealing with time. God set it as a memorial since time cannot be eradicated in the same way as a physical place.

It’s All about Relationship—It’s All about Love

On days 1-3 of creation, God created spaces. On days 4-6, God filled those spaces. On the 7th day He created another space—a space of time. And He filled it with Himself.

Why did God create the Sabbath? Was He tired? Was Adam tired? What about Eve? If no one was tired, then what is this day of rest all about? Exodus 31:17 says that God was refreshed. The Hebrew word for that is “naphash,” which means breath.

So it’s much like what we do when we finally have a chance to relax with the ones we love. We kick off our shoes and let out a long breath: Ahhhhh! We’re together at last! We can rest from the wars of life, remember how much we love each other, and cultivate that love. In the beginning, God sabbathed with Adam and Eve, let out a long breath, and rested from the war in His universe.

The Sabbath Has Critical Purposes

  • It’s a day of rest (Genesis 2:2-3)
  • It’s a day of divine participation, for God to enter into the time and experience of His created order in a special way.
  • It’s a day of blessing (Isaiah 58:13-14)
  • It’s a day of peace (Isaiah 48:18)
  • It’s a sign (Ezekiel 20:12, 20)
  • It’s a memorial to creation
  • It’s a symbol of sanctification (Ezekiel 20:12)
  • It’s a hallowed day (Exodus 20:11)
  • It’s a perpetual covenant (Exodus 31:16)

There are Consequences to Ignoring the Sabbath

The Sabbath was the crucial turning point at The Council of Trent, where the reformation failed to reform the Catholic Church.

Can We Worship God Every Day?

It defies logic to believe that every day can be a Sabbath day of worship to God. God says that He sanctified the Seventh day and made it holy (Genesis 2:3). By definition, to sanctify something is to set it apart from the others. So if all days are the same and every day is a holy worship day, then how can the Sabbath be sanctified and set apart from any other day?

The fourth Commandment also says, “Six days shalt thou labor,” and that on the Sabbath “thou shalt not do any work.” Here the problem is clear: if everyone kept every day as the Sabbath, then when would anyone work, and how would we survive? Treating every day as the Sabbath would not make us holy, but lazy.

The Sabbath Was a Test for Israel

As we’ve stated above, faith is woven into the very nature of the Sabbath. It makes sense that we shouldn’t kill or steal, but why worship on a particular day?

God chose the Sabbath commandment as the great test of His law. Read Exodus 16:4-5. Would the Israelites obey Him? God performed three continuous miracles over forty years to show that not just any 7th day is holy.

And It Is, and Will Be, a Test for Us

As we’ve said above, the Sabbath is the seal of God’s authority, the mark of his power. However, there is another power in this earth that covets God’s authority. The Church of Rome claims to have the power to change God’s law.

The papacy underscores what we’ve declared about the Sabbath being a mark of God’s authority by saying that changing the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday is the mark of her ecclesiastical power. “Of course the Catholic church claims that the change was her act, and the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power” (Cardinal Gibbons, Faith of our Fathers). This is the symbol of the beast’s authority and one of the distinguishing characteristics that labels her as the antichrist—the beast of Revelation. Therefore, in the time of the end, the deciding issue will be the Sabbath. Those who choose Rome’s spurious Sabbath will receive the mark of the beast instead of the mark of God.

Catholic's Claim to Change SabbathPapal Rome Reminds Us That She Changed the Sabbath:

  • The excerpt to the right is from the Catholic catechism.
  • “She took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday…and thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder, became the Christian Sunday sacred to Jesus” (Catholic World, March 1894).
  • “I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church” (T. Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, Feb. 18,1884).
  • “But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify” (James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., pp. 89).
  • “It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church” (Priest Brady, in an address, reported in the Elizabeth, NJ ‘News’ on March 18, 1903).

The biggest mistake of the protestant churches has been to nail the Sabbath to the cross and bow obediently to the commandment of Rome. They know better.

Pharaoh: Type Meets Antitype

The Sabbath was a pivotal issue disputed between Moses and Pharaoh.

“And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens. And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens” (Exodus 5:4-5, emphasis mine). Moses made the people keep the Sabbath and that made Pharaoh angry, so he created a law that said, “Thou shalt not keep the Sabbath.” God’s response to Pharaoh’s anti-Sabbath law was the 10 plagues. These plagues are a type of the 7 last plagues of the end, and this type tells us that the Sabbath will play a part in the end of the world too. What happened in the type will happen in the antitype.

The Pharaoh of the Exodus, Thutmosis III, was not only the mightiest of all Pharaohs (called the Napoleon of Egypt), but he was also the most religious, writing The Book of the Dead (to this day the bible of the occult world). He held religio-political power in his reign.

Obelisk-LateranAn obelisk stands by the main church in Rome. The inscription on it says that it originated with Thutmosis III. He commissioned it as a memorial to Ra, the sun god. He was killed in the Red Sea and so didn’t complete it. However, his grandson finally finished it and erected it in the pantheon of gods.

This same obelisk was removed and erected in Rome with a Christian cross at its apex. The pagan sun god has been baptized as Christian by another religio-political power. This obelisk was created by the Pharaoh that said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice?” Now it’s in Rome, and its new owner is saying the same thing.

A Memorial and a Catalyst

The Sabbath was created on the 7th day of creation, and it has become such a memorial of confederacy with God that it will stand for all eternity (Exodus 31:16-17, Isaiah 66:22-23). In the end it will be the Sabbath that will be the catalyst that polarizes men’s allegiance and separates the wheat from the chaff. Only those who do not “turn away their feet from keeping the 7th day Sabbath” will receive the seal of God and be numbered with those that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

As we can see, the day on which we worship matters. On the seventh day we worship God. On any other day we worship His archenemy.